Sponge Cities: What is it all about?

sponge

The 34 hectares urban storm water park in the city of Harbin in northern China is an example of successful Sponge City intervention. The storm water park provides multiple ecosystems services: it collects, cleanses and stores storm water and lets it infiltrate it into the aquifers. At the same time it protects and recovers the native natural habitats and provides an aesthetically appealing public space for recreational use. Photograph: Asla.org

Sponge City. Yet another term on the growing list next to regenerative, sustainable, green, eco, resilient, low-impact, future proofing, zero-carbon, and the list goes on.

Strange as it may sound, this term has actually gained a huge amount of support, especially in China. In fact, the Chinese government has already chosen 16 pilot cities and allocated to each of them between 400 and 600 million yuan for the implementation of innovative water management strategies that would gradually transform these cities into “Sponge Cities”.

What are the key issues the Sponge City wants to solve?

…continue reading →

January 20, 2016   No Comments

The new DNA of future energy markets

How the transition of the global energy sectors challenges the world as we know it. And why this is good news!

Power to the People

Authors: Anna Leidreiter and Stefan Schurig

Delegates from more than 130 countries and world`s leading renewable energy experts meet for the next three days to discuss the global energy transition. The annual Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has become one of the most important gathering. In fact, the way energy is produced, distributed and consumed in our societies is undergoing fundamental changes. With the majority of energy investments already going into renewable energy, we are doing more than substituting oil, gas, coal and nuclear with free energy from the wind and the sun. We are in fact building an entirely new global energy sector with a completely different DNA. …continue reading →

January 16, 2016   No Comments

Changing energy pathways means changing subsidy flows

pexels-photo

At the end of 2016 the US federal government is set to revert the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on renewable energy from 30% back to the pre-2006 level of 10%, and similar policies are in motion in many other countries around the world. Simultaneously, and without signs of change, estimates suggest that US provided $37.5bn in fossil fuel subsidies in 2014, including $21bn in production and exploration subsidies. Creating a situation in which taxpayers are supporting polluting energy in favour of clean energy. …continue reading →

December 21, 2015   No Comments